It’s an inter-conference matchup in the Hoosier State. The Houston Rockets are on the road as they face the Indiana Pacers Sunday evening. Houston was in action Saturday night as they faced the Grizzlies at home in a Southwest Division matchup. Indiana snapped a four game losing streak as they defeated the Bulls 105-87 on the road Friday night. The Rockets hold a 52-37 advantage in the all-time regular season series between the teams but the Pacers have won three straight, including both matchups last season.
Houston Rockets Playing Second Game of Back to Back
Houston was in action at home against Memphis Saturday night looking to earn their first win against the Grizzlies in three meetings this season. The Rockets entered Saturday tied for the top spot in the Western Conference with Golden State with a 9-3 mark. Houston held a 1.5 game lead over the Grizzlies in the Southwest Division entering Saturday’s game. The Rockets are 6-1 on the road as opposed to their 3-2 home mark. Houston went into Saturday’s contest 5-1 against Eastern Conference foes and 1-2 against the Southwest Division this season.
The Rockets are average offensively: they are 5th in the league with 110.5 points per game. Houston is 15th in rebounding with 43.8 boards per game and 17th with 21.9 assists a night. The Rockets are 10th in scoring defense as they allow 104.1 points per game. James Harden leads the team with 29.9 points per game while grabbing 4.9 boards and dishing out 10 assists a night. Eric Gordon is putting up 22.8 points per contest while Clint Capela averages 13.3 points plus 10.8 rebounds a night. PJ Tucker and Ryan Anderson (11.8 points, 5.5 rebounds) each are key secondary options this season. Nene Hilario, Trevor Ariza, Chris Paul and Luc Mbah a Moute are key pieces in the rotation as well. Paul is out currently with a bruised knee and is expected to miss two to four weeks: he was seen shooting at practice last Saturday but still is projected to be a little ways off. The Rockets are tied for 14th in the league in field goal percentage, shooting 45.8 percent as a team. Houston is 1st in the league with 15.2 threes a night while the team is tied for 22nd by shooting 34 percent from long range this season.
Indiana Pacers Try for Second Straight Win
Indiana managed to snap their four game losing streak with a solid performance against the lowly Bulls in a Central Division clash. The Pacers look to get back to the .500 mark with a win here. Indiana jumped to an 11 point lead after the opening quarter and put the game away with a 35-26 edge in the third. The Pacers shot 51.2 percent from the floor and drained 12 of their 29 three point attempts in the win. Indiana won the rebounding battle 51-43 and held the Bulls to 39.8 percent shooting to help overcome 18 turnovers. Victor Oladipo led the Pacers with 25 points, six rebounds and six assists in the game.
The Pacers are 8th in the league in scoring with 109 points a night. Indiana is 18th in the league in rebounding by collecting 42.9 boards per game. The Pacers are 8th in assists with 23.4 per game but are a sieve defensively. Indiana is 25th in the league in scoring defense, allowing 108.4 points per game. Victor Oladipo leads the Pacers with 23 points plus 4.3 rebounds and 1.38 steals per contest. Myles Turner averages 14.5 points plus nine rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game but missed seven games with a concussion. Darren Collison (11.8 points, 6.8 assists), Thaddeus Young (14.6 points, 6.1 rebounds), Domantas Sabonis (13 points, 10.2 rebounds), Al Jefferson (eight points, 5.1 boards) and Bojan Bogdanovic (13.9 points) are contributing offensively. The Pacers have to get production from Cory Joseph, Lance Stephenson and TJ Leaf while tightening up defensively. Indiana is tied for 5th in the league by shooting 47.8 percent from the field. The Pacers are tied for 22nd with 9.7 threes per game. Indiana stands 6th in the league as they’re knocking down 38.3 percent from beyond the arc.
- Rockets are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Sunday games
- Pacers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall
Houston is playing the second game of a back to back here but the fact remains that they’ve been extremely good on the road. The Rockets are 6-1 as the visitor with their lone loss coming in Memphis, a team that had handed them two of their three losses entering Saturday. Indiana snapped a skid with a win over the Bulls but they have a tough task ahead of them trying to deal with the Rockets’ perimeter shooting. When all is said and done, Harden and Gordon are too much for the Pacers: give the points and take the Rockets here.